Tentative thesis: Cities, not countries, are the true unit of human civilization. Two data points:
- The book Barbarians to Angels, which I tore through whilst SFO-JFK-CDG. The author, Peter Wells, tries to reframe the Dark Ages as not, well, the Dark Ages, but rather as just another period of growth and development. The important bit: Almost all of the important towns of Roman Europe, all the way up into Britain and Scandinavia, just kept on growing during the Dark Ages. There was no great ruin, no abandonment. Just the opposite: There was continuity.
- And then cross-ref with the percolating potential of this post over at O’Reilly about participatory planning in cities.
Oh yeah, and maybe also:
(Got the book recommendation from @bldgblog, and I pass it along to you.)